RESIST’S FLEXIBLE APPROACH

Byline: Alice Welsh

NEW YORK — Resist, a moderate junior firm specializing in wovens, denim and knits, will deliver its first product March 30.
In addition to juniors, Resist will produce young men’s, misses’ and large sizes. All sourcing and most production is in Hong Kong, India, China and Bangkok, Thailand. Some knits will be produced domestically.
“We want to be flexible to meet the shifting trends, and we have the ability to move from one fabrication to another,” said Micky Mehta, chief executive officer, who founded the firm last month with Bhupendra Batra, who serves as chief financial officer.
“If knits are hot we can be there; if denim is big we can shift to that,” said Mehta.
Batra, the majority shareholder, is also ceo of Pioko Fashions, a Canadian sportswear company. Batra, with Mehta’s assistance, will be responsible for purchasing and sourcing all Resist merchandise.
Mehta was previously president of Protest, the young men’s line of North American Design Group, where he oversaw design and was in charge of sourcing, production and merchandising. His responsibilities at Resist are similar.
Mehta projects a first-year volume of $18 million, split equally between juniors and young men’s. He has not yet made any projections for the misses’ line.
Wholesale prices range from $7.50 for a basic flannel shirt to $14.50 for a printed cotton velvet shirt.
Accounts to date include Mervyn’s, Dayton Hudson Corp., Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, Miller’s Outpost and County Seat. Sandeep Kalra is Resist’s vice president in charge of sales for the women’s lines. Kalra was vice president of Sorrel, the junior label of North American Design Group. Resist’s designer, Lily Wong, and the sales team were all with Protest before moving to Resist.
Resist’s showroom is at 1466 Broadway, next door to the Protest showroom.
“I wanted to be in this building, and it was the only space available at the time we wanted to open,” said Mehta. Other showrooms are in Los Angeles and Miami.
Even though Resist moved right next door, and took a lot of staff, Protest isn’t protesting.
“When Micky left, we had some tough times in November and December; business was stagnant,” said David Bayer, Protest’s director of sales and merchandiser. “The owner, Harish Seth, went out and got some established talent to run the division, and we wrote $5 million the first market week in January. There was never any thought about going out of business.
“Micky is a talented man, and he wanted to do his own thing. Of course he’s benefited from his connections here, but that’s just the nature of the business,” said Bayer.
As for the similarity of the names Resist and Protest, Bayer said, “Micky is a very intelligent man, and he is trying to do whatever he can to be successful.”

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